Can we fight over something bigger please?

When the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) brought  out the figure of 1.76 lakh crore of loss caused to the  exchequer because of the 2G spectrum scam, the whole country was taken by storm. A furor was created among the media and the public because the scam brought to light the crony capitalism that exists between political leaders, journalists and corporate honchos. Public anger was not just a result of the whopping amount these leaders squandered, but because of the fact that it was an elected leader in a democracy that caused it.

Days after the resignation of Raja, Kapil Sibal, the new telecom minister, chastised the CAG’s report, calling the figures erroneous and misleading. Although it stood proven that licenses were allotted to companies in an illegitimate manner, the loss incurred to the exchequer was, in fact, meager. Now consider this: first a scam breaks out that costs a corrupt politician his job. The government, media and even the aam admi go about patting their backs for canning a worm from a worm-infested lot. Then the new minister violates the sanctity of a democratic institution by making public his views and challenging the institution’s reports. In all of this, what remains to be answered, is how much of this actually did and should affect the common man. What is it that appeases the public more: truncating a few zeroes from the amount lost, or taking measures to see that whatever the amount, such politicians be brought to book? It is no news that every Indian unabashedly admits that corruption is galore in the country. So much so that the attitude of the common man towards such incidents has turned shockingly cavalier, and in the prevailing state of affairs, these scam do little but pass by with here-comes-another responses. The public objects and dissents, but all that remains at the end of the day is a whole multitude of politicians squabbling over who the power should rest with.

This is pretty much how the UPA II has handled the situation. Instead of trying to solve the problem, it has been trying to cover up the gaffe by lame arguments and shallow stunts and promises that have only further irked the public. The formation of a JPC, over which the government and the opposition are at loggerheads, has done precious little but stall the Parliament for weeks on end, bringing its normalcy to utter subversion.

The opposition, realizing this as the nadir of the UPA’s rule, has left no stone unturned on its part to lay bricks for its downfall. The BJP’s Ekta Yatra to Lal Chowk in Srinagar, elicited by a sudden arousal of die-heart patriotism, has further ruffled feathers in the state, while also consequentially, shaken the Congress’s right to power. Political scenario certainly appears to be at its worst. Time seems to be jinxed for the Congress. As if the blow from the 2G spectrum scam did not suffice, inflation soared, only to earn the Congress some more wrath among the voters.

Come 2014, the wise and the watchful public will certainly decide its rightful and rightly deserved ruler. But there is still a good two and a half years that remain, giving the Congress ample time to make do its peccadilloes. For starters, it might help a little if these big-wigs could grade issues that are important from those that are otherwise. Maybe for a change, they stop creating a recce over who gains power and who does not and focus upon the more important task of running the nation with greater efficiency.

Dipti Jain

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